September 18, 2019 (San Diego) -- On August 30th, the County of San Diego issued a news release titled “CAL FIRE Prepares To Add New Aerial Attack Plane”. It incorrectly stated, “CAL FIRE plans in the near future to purchase a retardant-dropping C-130 air tanker and the agency’s pilots got a chance to train in the region this month.”
A video did show a pilot training in Ramona, as ECM reported. Cal Fire Captain and Public Information officer Issac Sanchez, in the video, indicated that Cal Fire hoped to have a C-130 permanently stationed in the region within the next couple of years.
However, yesterday ECM received an e-mail from Thomas Dominguez, who says he is a former firefighter. He disputed the County’s statements and indicated that the aircraft in question is to be given, not sold, to Cal Fire by the federal government. He also stated that the aircraft is not currently equipped with a fire retardant system.
CalFire has confirmed that these are truthful statements, and that this process will likely take a couple of years, though will ultimately make our region safer.
Update September 18, 2019: Cal Fire has issued corrections on inacccurate information provided in a County press release and video. This plane and others are set to be given to Cal Fire by the federal government, not sold. The planes are not yet equipped with fire retardant and are not slated to arrive in Califiornia likely for a couple of years, according to Cal Fire Captain and Public Information Officer Issac Sanchez. See our full update: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/cal-fire-issues-corrections-c-130-pla....
August 30, 2019 (Ramona) -- A C-130 air tanker on loan in Ramona has been used to train additional pilots this past week. Ultimately, Cal Fire’s goal is to purchase a C-130 to permanently base in our region, says Cal Fire spokesman Isaac Sanchez.